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The Effect of Chemical Interactions on the Small Arms Deterring Process
ARMY ARMAMENT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER DOVER NJ
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The purpose of this study was to measure the depth of penetration of a homologous series of benzoic acid esters when diffused into a spherical nitroglycerine containing nitrocellulose propellant grain. The benzoic acid esters are of potential interest as deterrent materials and for this reason were the subject of an investigation involving their hydrogen bonding properties when present in a nitrocellulose matrix. A molecule containing the group with the least electron donating effect, the methyl group, penetrated deepest into the grain. It appears that as a molecule is diffused into the nitrocellulose matrix, the likelihood of an interaction with a free hydroxyl group is enhanced by increased negative charge on the carbonyl oxygen. This explains why the methyl ester penetrated deepest into the grain while the butyl ester penetrated least. Thus it appears that the depth of penetration of a deterrent can be regulated, for a given molar concentration, by the negative charge present on the carbonyl oxygen which in turn determines the likelihood of a hydrogen bond being formed.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE